Media - Our stories

Explore our recent stories to see what drives us

29 October 2020

Expanded partnership aims to unlock pioneering approaches to pain

Partnering to unlock huge potential -  Masschusetts General Hospital

“We are proud that we have incubated Fern Health and are part of a tech start-up that delivers innovative solutions to pain patients in the US.”

Gabriel Baertschi,

CEO Grünenthal

Fern Health, a tech start-up incubated by Grünenthal, has expanded its partnership with the world’s leading pain management clinic, the Massachusetts General Hospital. Together, they will validate and pilot innovative digital health solutions – and unlock pioneering approaches to pain.

Fern Health offers digital and virtual programmes for patients who suffer from musculoskeletal pain, while also providing education about pain. Fern was incubated by Grünenthal, the global leader in pain management, in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures. In our quest to deliver innovative solutions to pain patients, Grünenthal decided to nurture a tech start-up that can develop innovative digital solutions for people in the US. This innovative, experimental platform and its services are currently going through further testing and clinical validation. In the early months of 2019, Fern Health launched a close partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) – and this partnership is now being expanded to give Fern Health a massive clinical, scientific and data set advantage over other digital pain management platforms. Together, the two pioneering organisations aim to improve access to high-quality pain care and provide physical and emotional benefits for the millions of people who live with musculoskeletal pain.

“Our partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital opens up great potential for Fern Health – and for pain patients in the US.”

Travis Bond,

CEO, Fern Health

MGH is the world’s leading pain management clinic and hospital-based research enterprise. Apart from that, MGH is the teaching hospital of the world’s renowned Harvard Medical School. In line with the expanded partnership, its experts will validate emerging Fern Health products and pilot new products in clinical settings. This will open up increased growth potential for Fern Health and will support the company in moving towards its long-term vision of democratising access to non-invasive multimodal pain management. Fern Health will benefit from clinical validation and implementation science, clinical protocol development, and third-party corroboration for peer-review publications and FDA approval processes. On top of this, access to MGH’s data set of 10 million de-identified patient records will give Fern Health’s treatment programmes a powerful advantage over “one-size-fits-all” platforms that are limited to publicly-available data or data from their own users.
Half of the adult population in the United States suffers from musculoskeletal pain1 , and this condition is the top driver of employer healthcare costs in the US. Fern Health’s service is provided as a benefits add-on for self-insured employers, and eases the economic burden of pain management. Pilot programmes are currently being conducted with several mid-size and large employers across a wide range of industries. Fern Health uses a combination of clinically-validated exercise therapy, education about pain, and one-to-one health coaching via digital platforms that patients can access from anywhere, without the need to visit a hospital. The partnership with MGH is an important first step towards a better future for pain management science – and improved quality of life for people with musculoskeletal pain.
Worker with back pain
1 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "One in two Americans have a musculoskeletal condition: New report outlines the prevalence, scope, cost and projected growth of musculoskeletal disorders in the U.S.." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2016.
Share this story: